I was trying to use my JVC SR-V10U today, and no matter what tape I put in I could not get video. The tapes would play for about 1 second and then nothing. The audio still worked though. An image would show up while paused or fast forwarding/rewinding, but it looked very bad. Also, the "Video Calibration" message never appeared. I've tried cleaning and that didn't help. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
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Usually this indicates the rotating video heads are badly clogged, but the stationary linear audio head is often unaffected so will continue to play the linear soundtrack. You didn't specify if the audio you're getting is available from both sources: HiFi and linear/mono. Try testing both systems by loading a tape you know definitely has a HiFi audio track: toggle the SR-V10U audio output settings to see if the hifi is working or only the linear/mono. If the hifi won't play, thats another clue that your spinning head drum is very badly clogged. If the HiFi does play, but not video, you may have an issue specific to the video heads alone (deteriorated connection or weird clog that affects video only).
Most of the time, this problem clears up after running a wet cleaning tape or manually cleaning the heads with wet chamois swabs. Apparently you've tried that with no success, so you might need to bring it to a repair tech for evaluation. A really nasty clog can require professional cleaning to remove, or perhaps the heads are worn/damaged: a tech should be able to tell you immediately. If you don't have any decent techs in your area, it may be simpler to just buy another similar VCR. Before going that far, you should probably check the last few tapes you used by playing them in another, 'disposable' VCR. If the second VCR also clogs up, you'll need to discard that shedding tape or it will ruin every VCR you play it in.
Last edited by orsetto; 4th Mar 2014 at 18:15.
Thanks for the response. I've tried cleaning a few times with no luck. Do you know how I could go about giving it a professional grade cleaning myself or how to tell if the heads are worn? Thanks.
Sorry, I can't tell you how pro VCR techs evaluate and deep clean video heads. They have tools, test rigs and experience that most consumers do not. Assuming you used chamois wet swabs and were very careful, you probably managed 85% of a professional cleaning yourself. If the heads still present this symptom of "no picture during normal play mode, but some picture shows during speed search or pause" then you have a clog practically welded into the head gap. If a clog isn't the problem, then the heads are simply damaged: worn down from use or knocked out of alignment by a very sticky tape. There is no way to accurately diagnose this at home, so if you don't want to pay a tech $50 only to risk him telling you it can't be repaired, just buy another similar VCR. SR-V10U in good condition typically sells for $200 or less: if yours needs new heads, and a tech can still source them, the repair cost will exceed $200.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't: I had this happen to me a couple times over the years. Every now and then, a seemingly innocent tape turns into a VCR killer. Since reasonable repairs are difficult to find today, its often simpler to just replace the VCR. I sympathize with you: the "Murphy's Law" aspect can be infuriating (plain ordinary VCRs you buy for $10 at Goodwill behave like workhorses and are practically indestructible, but every damned VCR ever made that has the rare desirable TBC/DNR feature attracts clogs from hell, is as fragile as a butterfly and costly to replace).
Last edited by orsetto; 6th Mar 2014 at 14:54.
Thanks again. I'll give one last try with cleaning it and then give up.